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Human Capital and Climate Change
NBER Working Paper, Submitted to American Economic Review: Insights
Addressing climate change requires individual behavior change and voter support for pro-climate policies, yet surprisingly little is known about how to achieve these outcomes. This paper estimates causal effects of additional education on pro-climate outcomes using new compulsory schooling law data across 16 European countries. It analyzes effects on pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, policy preferences, and novel data on voting for green parties—a particularly consequential outcome to combat climate change. Results show a year of education increases pro-climate beliefs, behaviors, most policy preferences, and green voting, with voting gains equivalent to a substantial 35% increase.